26 November 2010

Todays post is brought to you by the number 2 (or 3)

It seems that we're hurtling with frightening speed towards the season of togetherness. You know what we mean - it's the season of school holidays, and of taking food round to someone else's house to cook it on their BBQ; the season of gathering round the TV to watch the start of the Sydney to Hobart, and of forcing your family to listen to the Boxing Day test as you drive to the beach. It's the season of gathering with your colleagues at any inn that has room.

So in that spirit, we thought we'd celebrate some of our favourite literary collaborators.

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Writing one chapter apiece, Rachel and David created Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List. This Christmas they bring us the utterly adorable and excruciatingly funny Dash and Lily's Book of Dares. Perhaps just a few key phrases will pique your interest: finding love in a 2nd-hand bookshop, make-your-own muppets, Christmas in New York, a gay Jewish dancepop/indie/punk band called 'Silly Rabbi, Tricks Are for Yids'... We could go on, but really just get hold of a copy - it's a complete delight. And look at that amazing cover by our very own LW. We're so proud to be Rachel and David's home in Oz.

Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake
You know it's a match made in heaven when you can write a list of adjectives that apply equally well to either the words or the illustrations: exuberant, inventive, playful, funny, occasionally gross, often poignant. Whoever first paired these two for The Enormous Crocodile was a genius. It's well worth spending time exploring Quentin Blake's gorgeous website. Keep an eye out for the anecdote about how the BFG came to be wearing Roald Dahl's sandals.

Penni Russon and Kate Constable
They've written just one book together. But we love Dear Swoosie hard that we're secretly hoping they'll find something else to work on. Given that both Penni and Kate have talked about how much they enjoyed the process, the signs are hopeful!

Terry Denton and Andy Griffiths
Take a swash of Griffiths and add a dash of Denton and the result is hilariously entertaining chaos. This cheeky pair do like to egg each other on with flat cats on mats, big fat cows going KAPOW!, a whole lot of crazy Just-ness and bad, bad books that make us afraid. Very afraid. While adult readers might sometimes go eeeew, the younger readers gobble these books right up.

Roland Harvey and Alison Lester
There was moonlight at the paddock, and silver brumbies on the roam, the night the mare from Currawong Creek soared away. Horses! Ponies! Brumbies! Secrets! Trick riding! Holidays! Rescue operations! Friendship! Alison Lester's wonderful stories of the adventures of horse-crazy Bonnie & Sam are complemented beautifully by Roland Harvey's wonderful watercolour illustrations. And with four books all in one big collection Horse Crazy! is whole lot of happy for every young horse-lover.

AA Milne and EH Shepard*
To any devotee of the original EH Shepard drawings of Pooh and Piglet, Rabbit & Owl and all the other denizens of the Hundred Aker Wood, any other depiction of the characters is an affront. Pooh IS the delicate line drawing as surely as he is coming down the stairs now, bump, bump, bump on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. Actually, perhaps the true collaboration is between EH Shepard and Christopher Robin - the map of the wood does have inscribed at the bottom: DRAWN BY ME AND MR SHEPARD HELPD.

Anna and Barbara Fienberg and Kim Gamble**
Tashi is brave. Tashi is bold. Tashi is the best. He's not just the stories, and he's not just the pictures - he lives in the combination. Anna, Barbara and Kim have collaborated on 18 books over 15 years. And now there's this glorious great big enormous bind up. Just in time for Christmas - well fancy that!

* It has recently come to our attention that one of the Onions has not read Winnie the Pooh. Yes, you read that right. It's true, one of the Onions has not read Winnie the Pooh. Inconceivable! She has been duly chastised and we have extracted a promise that she will rectify this situation poste haste. However, in a curious turn of events it seems that while she is unfamiliar with the genius of the actual book, she does know all the words to this version of House at Pooh Corner.
** Okay, so technically that's three people, but two of them have the same last name, so that evens it out. That, my friends, is irrefutable logic.

1 comment:

Miss Cackle said...

Agrees wholeheartedly with everyone on this list, ESPECIALLY the gloriously talented Penni Russon and Kate Constable. Dear Swoosie is one of the most gorgeous books I have ever read. And I read "Dash and Lily" in one night because I was so excited! Awesome, wondrous book. Happy weekend!